Pilots of 21 Squadron pose in front of a Mk IV Blenheim

The picture was taken at the eastern exit of Hangar 1 (it is only at this position that the houses in the background are visible). Note the white ‘coveralls’ which were the pre-war flying suit worn at public displays. The MkIV Blenheim would tend to date the picture at the outbreak of the war. Perhaps this was their first MkIV or perhaps this was intended to be a record of A Flight and the Squadron at the outbreak of World War 2 .

Known to be missing from this picture is P/O H.D.S. Dunford-Wood (A Flight) but since this picture came from his photo’ albulm it is considered likely that he took it. Officers known to be on Squadron strength at the time this picture was taken, but who have not been identified yet include F/O M.W. Hamlyn, S/Ldr G.E. McDonald, P/O R.G.M. Gilmore, P/O F.C. Gibbs, F/O S.W.B. Menaul, P/O R.J. MacDonough. All of those with the exception of Hamlyn were B Flight members.

Mouse over the arrows to scroll the picture and click the key to reveal the numbers. Mouse-over the key numbers on the scrolling picture to view any more information available on the person.

6 thoughts on “21 Squadron Pilots 1939”

  1. Further to my reply to Dudley, I wonder if anyone has any more information about my Grandfather RAG Wilson? I know that he served on Blenheims on 21 Squadron as well as Wellingtons on IX Squadron. I also believe he was promoted from operational roles to Group level as a staff officer. I would be extremely grateful for any information. Many thanks.

  2. I am trying to find any information regarding R Wilson (known as Rags). I know the other gentleman listed were all people he knew from a list I found and possibly he could be Number 18. He also served with 9 squadron during second world war. If anyone at all has any information regarding him it would be appreciated. I am desperately trying to locate a photo off him as he is celebrating his 100th Birthday this year. Any details would be appreciated.

    1. In response to Dudley:
      Hello Dudley, I am the grandson of Roy Wilson (R.A.G. Wilson). Unfortunately, I know very little of his RAF service and I find he is very reluctant to talk about it, which I fully understand. There are also very few photos that I am aware of.
      I too would be interested to find photos of my Grandfather or for this photo to be verified as a photograph of him. I would also like to learn more of my Grandfather’s wartime service.
      Not to sound rude but please could I ask for your reasons for the interest you have in my Grandfather?
      Best regards,
      Roger

  3. I have my father’s autograph book and there are two pages of pilots’ autographs, including S F Coutts Wood, D W Gibson, K M McCrudden (I believe) P Meston, A D Watson, S L Sigurdson, M W King Hamlyn and a couple that I can’t make out.

  4. P/O R.G.M Gilmore (The said pilot missing from photo) was in the same Blenheim as my uncle Alf Wilson (A.K.A tug) and SGT Pearce. All 3 K.I.A 14/5/1940 .

  5. Gibson became a publisher. He was the owner of Robert Gibson & Son. He died in 1994. He was posted to Abbotsinch and he said it was there he formed 21 Squadron with Hinds. He took over 602s aircraft after a storm. He was master navigator and flew the Blenheim’s to Turkey in formation just before the war. When the war finished he asked if he could be released and he was off the station in 40 minutes. He left with his Italian motor bike, pistol and parachute. He lived in Kilcregan and had a Blenheim prop outside his house. When his dad died he took over the Gibson publishing.
    At one time he was CO of a combined Swordfish/Albacore squadron on anti E Boat operations

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